Dental Anxiety


Up to 36% of Americans have some type of dental anxiety, keeping them from regular oral health care. If you’re one of them, sedation dentistry may be able to help you relax. At Aesthetic Dentistry of Noe Valley, cosmetic and general dentists Aref Natour, DDS, Nisha Krishnaiah, DDS, and the team specialize in treating dental anxiety. They offer several types of sedation dentistry, ensuring the process is comfortable, relaxing, and anxiety-free. Call the office in the Noe Valley neighborhood of San Francisco, California, to request a dental anxiety consultation, or book one online today. 

What is dental anxiety?

Dental anxiety refers to stress or fear triggered by oral health care. Millions of children, teenagers, and adults experience dental anxiety. For some people, these fears are mild; but for others, they’re debilitating and interfere with good oral hygiene.

If you’re scared of visiting the dentist, it’s important to ask for help. Various measures can make it easier for you to relax, so you can receive the treatment you need. 

What are the symptoms of dental anxiety?

You may have dental anxiety if you experience any of the following symptoms before or during dentist appointments:

  • Heart palpitations
  • Panic attacks
  • Upset stomach
  • Aggressive behavior
  • Feelings of irritability
  • Extreme sweating
  • Crying

If you have dental anxiety, you might also feel lightheaded, or like you’re going to faint.

How is dental anxiety treated?

At Aesthetic Dentistry of Noe Valley, the team offers several types of treatment for dental anxiety, including:


Noise-canceling headphones and relaxing music

Many people with dental anxiety hate the sound of drills and other handheld tools. Wearing noise-canceling headphones during your appointment can help drown out these sounds. You can even listen to your favorite musician or audiobook.


Nitrous oxide

Nitrous oxide (laughing gas) is a colorless, odorless substance that you breathe through a mask placed over your mouth and nose. When nitrous oxide enters your body, it causes intense euphoria and relaxation. Laughing gas wears off quickly, so you can drive yourself home after the appointment.


Oral sedation

If you have extreme dental anxiety, the team might prescribe oral sedation. Oral sedation uses prescription medication, like Halcion, to make you drowsy. You might doze off during oral sedation, but your dentist can nudge you awake if they have questions or need you to follow specific instructions.

Oral sedation takes several hours to wear off, so a friend or family member needs to drive you home after treatment.

What type of sedation dentistry might benefit me?

Your Aesthetic Dentistry of Noe Valley provider reviews your dental records and asks about your anxiety before making treatment recommendations. Make sure to answer your provider’s questions honestly. In addition, let them know if you have a chronic health problem like diabetes or heart disease, that may increase your risk of complications.

Call Aesthetic Dentistry of Noe Valley to receive treatment for dental anxiety, or book an appointment online today. 

We are committed to providing healthcare to families located in the San Francisco area and treat patients of all ages.